by Seyi Lawal
It took hundreds of lives and some international pressure for the Nigerian government to finally decide that it might be a reasonable idea to have a law that makes crimes against humanity punishable.
According to the latest reports, the government in its bid to tackle the current insecurity in the country has formally approved the Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes, Genocide and Related Offences Bill 2012.
The Punch reports that the “domestication of the Rome Statute is expected to contribute to tackling what the government described as impunity in the country. The decision to approve the law was taken at the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.”
Minister of Information and Works, Labaran Maku, and Mike Onolememen respectively were on ground to explain the new bill to State House correspondents after the weekly meeting.
Maku said the approval was based on a memorandum presented to the council by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Adoke. He said although Nigeria was a signatory to the international law on crimes against humanity, the country had not been able to domesticate the law before now. “The Federal Government was of the opinion that the domestication of the statute would contribute in addressing the security challenges currently being witnessed in some parts of the country,” he said.
He added that the step would demonstrate to the international community that the government was making concerted efforts to tackle the security challenges and restore sanity to the country.
Maku said a special bill would be sent to the National Assembly on the decision of the FEC on the law.
Source: The Punch